More activities needed in prison - from Jennifer (former prisoner)

Hi Prison Widow UK. 

You can use my first name only if you proceed to publish my email.
I read Michael P's post on activities in prison and I couldn't agree more with him.
I spent three years in prison and struggled throughout my sentence with depression. 
At one point, my mental health was so frail that I didn't even want to see my mother and daughter on visits. 
We used to do card making as an activity in prison which was good, but after a while I became bored but joined in nevertheless because it was better than doing nothing at all. The main struggle was in the evening when we were locked down for the night. Many of the girls would use their evening time writing letters to their family and friends, but when you suffer with depression, the last thing you want to do is write a letter. If I did manage to write a few lines, the content was dark and distressing so I used to tear up the paper and throw it in the trash. I didn't want my family to worry about me so rather than write a dark letter, I wrote nothing at all. Michael P said he wasn't shocked that prisoners were subjected to colouring in children's drawings. Sadly I saw this when I served my time and some of the other girls were just grateful they at least had something to do. Like Michael, I am not excusing the fact that children's drawings to colour is acceptable because it isn't. It's degrading, but it was something to do and it passed time. I think that prisons need to focus more on offering activities that are age appropriate and consistent. I met a number of girls in prison that suffered with mental health illnesses and if anything, I would like to see more activities brought on board for them. 
Thanks Michael P for making me smile though. 

Best wishes

Jennifer